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Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

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Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

Yes, I know, Hertz & Avis are going to be good service, but expensive. There's a bunch of deep discounters where you are sort of rolling the dice in my experience. Some have terrible counter efficiency with long lines (partly due to all the people just picking the cheapest rate), others put a $400 hold on your credit card instead of the typical $200, and some have fine print designed to trick you to getting insurance or other charges unless you are careful.

It's pretty pointless to even read the Yelp reviews as who the heck would take time out to go write a good review for a rental car company? No me. So the reviews are of course heavily skewed towards the negative as opposed to a restaurant review where people might be inclined to write about a great dining experience. (I guess that's also going to be the case with car rental reviews on Tripadvisor)

So wondering, especially as far as the frequent travelers out there, which of the deep discount care rental agencies aren't that bad? Examples: Payless, E-Z, Fox, Advantage, MCAR, Silvercar, U-Save are all the ones I can think of.

26 replies to this topic
Santa Monica...
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1. Re: Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

Those reviews are bad for a reason. On this forum, you'll always get the advise to use the top companies because we get negative feedback on the deep discounters all the time.

What are your plans? Our mass transit is pretty good in LA, perhaps you won't need a car for our city, rent one afterwards if you are heading elsewhere on your trip. Share your LA itinerary, you can probably use Metro trains and Lyft to get around.

Edited: 15 December 2017, 21:25
Southern California
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2. Re: Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

Car rental is one area I will not cheap out on, since my possible safety is involved. There are other areas to cut costs such as housing, meals, shopping, sight seeing, etc.

Los Angeles...
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3. Re: Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

Why not just go with someone you can trust? The potential cost of going cut-rate is actually high - undisclosed charges, bad/faulty cars, etc... These people have to make money to stay in business. They are getting that money somewhere - hidden charges, lax maintenance on cars,etc.

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4. Re: Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

Once you book, you'll have to at least read the reviews for that company so that you know what kind of counter scams to watch for. One of the more common is when the agent tells you that something is "mandatory" but it is not. That's when you pull out your printed copy of their terms & conditions and point out that it says "optional". You do not have to show your auto insurance policy , you do not have to purchase roadside service, etc. By law, the rate you are quoted must include everything that's mandatory, if your bill is higher than you were quoted online, ask what's up and get the extra charge removed. Read the terms completely because some companies like E-Z car have odd policies along the lines of "your reservation is cancelled if you are more than 59 minutes late. The car you reserved may still be available, but it will be at a much higher price".

Basically their "great deals" are just bait because they're pretty sure they will be able to sell you options at pick-up time. And if they don't, they have no great urge to give you their car for $89 a week and will try to get rid of you by saying you need to show your insurance policy or some such nonsense.

M-Car did that used to be Midway? If so they have gotten some good comments here over the years.

Edited: 15 December 2017, 23:42
Pacifica, California
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5. Re: Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

Midway and MCar are one and the same. It looks like their attempt to rebrand from Midway to MCar isn't sticking, so they're going back to Midway.

I was very happy with Midway when I rented from them at LAX, and they would be my first choice if I had to do it again.

Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

I’m not sure why you’re calling Silvercar a “deep discounter”? I’ve used them twice from LAX and will be using them again in February. AudiUSA bought the company from its founders over a year ago, they’re hardly fly by night.

Their usual price, at least in February, has been $69.95 a day plus taxes. It’s all done by phone app, the personnel on site just takes you to the fleet of silver A4’s and you scan in with your smartphone. I have no idea what their credit card hold is but I’ve never had any surprise charges. When you scan the car back in on departure you get an email immediately with your bill. I wish they were in more cities.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

Jellyb. The issues as has been pointed out is not just counter scams but long lines huge delays dirty or bad cars. And for the smaller companies lack of locations outside the major airports

You get what you pay for. Can you update your Home city profile please ?

Silvercar is not in that category and midway does get good reviews but one has to add insurance as a foreigner

Edited: 17 December 2017, 12:25
San Francisco, Ca
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8. Re: Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

Aside from all the other advice, READ before you sign anything, then read it again when you leave the counter. We've seen posts here from people who verbally told the counter clerk "no insurance" or "no pre-paid gas"... and yet when they got the final bill, there was the insurance or pre-paid gas. And of course, it turns out the contract they signed had those items still included.

Yeah, these are sleazy business practices and you shouldn't have to go to all that trouble. But it is something you have to do.

Seattle, Washington
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9. Re: Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

One star would be gratuitous to say the least. Too bad there is no 0 rating, that would summarize our experience with U-SAVE car rental agency near LAX. Let’s start with my wife questioning after our experience, “Why did you rent from this company?” My response, it was a good price and it was on Alaska Airline website. As we experienced, it was not a good deal and I plan to let Alaska Airline know also. See attached pictures (I guess this posting does not permit upload of pictures), after refusing to accept the first few cars they drove up, all they had left was a Nissan. It was dirty inside, broken parts, multiple dents, scratches, and tape still on the car. Already late (30 minutes had passed since being dropped off at hotel entrance and walking all the way to the back of the hotel to find this little kiosk), we decided reluctantly to take the Nissan and drove off. We even talked about coming back later in the evening to drop it off and go to another car rental agency. On our way to the hotel after dinner with friends near LAX, I noticed the seat belt warning light came on, then the open door warning light. We checked, our seat belts were buckled and no doors were ajar. That was the final straw, we felt our safety was being compromised and drove straight to another car agency and rental another car, then proceeded to U-SAVE to return the car we rented 4 hours earlier. It was around 11pm-ish, the U-SAVE rental agency was closed and no rental car parking available. After driving around for 5 minutes, I did my best to park behind a few rental cars and drop the keys off in a box. Before driving off, I also left a voice message on their answering machine that we returned the car due to safety concerns and I would call tomorrow to explain. It got worse, the next day, I received a phone call from U-SAVE management representative threating me that I have to pay for all 3 days (when I only rented for less than a day) because it was pre-paid (which I knew it was not, I have read enough cancellation policies and even if I had to pay for 3 days, it was better than driving an unsafe car) and berated me “You get what you pay for”. I even stated that I would be contacting U-SAVE HQ and even the California Attorney General’s office (due to the safety concerns of the car). He defiantly said “go ahead”. I normally do not go with the lowest or best price, however it was on Alaska Airline website and as a frequently flyer we thought Alaska Airline knew who they were associating their brand with. In conclusion, worst car rental agency ever, I would have rather walked than to rent from U-SAVE (due to safety concerns of the mal-functioning warning lights), we didn’t feel safe driving the Nissan.

San Francisco...
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10. Re: Which LAX Car Rental Agencies Aren't Scamish Nightmares

it was on Alaska airline's website, therefore, you booked a rental car based on marketing arrangements with some cheapo rental car company.

Well, as you point out -- you got what you paid for -- Please stop whining. Or go ahead and whine .. won't' do any good.

and don't blame Alaska airline for your mistake

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